Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What Can GigE Bandwidth Do For You?

Gigabit Ethernet has been steadily making its way into local area network connections. NIC (Network Interface Cards) that were standardized as 10/100 Mbps are now more and more becoming 10/100/1000 Mbps. LAN backbones have been moving to 1 Gbps and even 10 Gbps. If your company is a heavy user of high technology digital processes, you're likely in the Gigabit Ethernet or GigE category right now. What you really need is a way to extend your high bandwidth data transfers out or your local network and across town or across the country at some reasonable cost. Now you can.

What type of companies can benefit from GigE WAN (Wide Area Network) connections? Those with large number of employees, huge customer bases, or applications that generate massive amounts of data. An obvious example is corporate information systems that handle accounting data, documentation, email and human resources for thousands of employees. Even when data was primarily text and numbers, these systems had to process, store and transfer enormous amounts of data. Now that pictures and graphics are more prevalent in the corporate databases, storage and bandwidth demands have multiplied.

Your need for connectivity with the outside world may include ways to interconnect multiple locations within a metropolitan area into a "virtual" corporate campus. Or, you may have a primarily location but a remote data center that handles overnight backups. In these cases, a Gigabit Ethernet MAN or Metropolitan Area Network connection could fit the bill.

It isn't always the largest companies that have the highest bandwidth demands. Hospitals and Medical Centers may be large or modest in size. But if they are generating radiological images and need to transfer them instantly or as close to instantly as possible, a GigE WAN connection is no extravagance.

Other organizations that are heavy data generators include video production houses, especially in high definition. HD television, movies, commercial advertising and the like can suck up as much bandwidth as you can provide. So too can engineering firms who are generating large architectural drawing packages or system simulations. It takes high performance computing equipment to generate the data in the first place. Transferring it in real-time requires bandwidth way beyond what normal business applications demand.

If your need to to share data between facilities in different cities or create an Extranet that includes key customers, you may find yourself bumping up against the limits that even a DS3 connection gives you. That's 45 Mbps, once considered a large amount of bandwidth. A logical upgrade is to move to SONET fiber optic carrier services. OC-3 offers 155 Mbps, OC-12 will give you 622 Mbps, OC-24 doubles that to 1.2 Gbps and OC-48 tops out at about 2.5 Gbps. These are classical fiber based telecommunications services, but they are definitely old school. Especially when it comes to pricing.

The new option is Carrier Ethernet. As the name implies, this is the same Ethernet as you deploy on your local networks. It's available now in speeds that range from classical Ethernet at 10 Mbps on the low end, Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbps, and Gigabit Ethernet or GigE at 1,000 Mbps. Pricing from competitive carriers with regional and national footprints is a fraction of what you'll pay for the equivalent SONET or T-Carrier bandwidth.

What level of bandwidth makes economic sense for your company? Find Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and GigE services available near your location now.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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